Entries in Politico (5)

Monday
Jul092018

Ralph Nader’s speech to conservatives re. crony capitalism

The American Conservative (TAC) is the publication that predicted the fall of the Bush dynasty and the rise of Donald Trump.  They wrote about the populist shift in GOP politics when most Washington-based journalists were confidently predicting that Paul Ryan was the next big thing.

The American Conservative recently held its 2nd annual conference on crony capitalism, "Cronyism in Action: Government's Cozy Ties to Big Tech & Big War." Ralph Nader gave a special address on the Military Industrial Complex entitled, "Eisenhower's Warning: Prophetic and Presently Understated."  You can watch it here:

The conference began with opening remarks by the Hon. C. Boyden Gray, former ambassador to the European Union, and a board member of The American Conservative The first panel, on the military-industrial-congressional complex, featured journalist and TAC contributing editor Mark Perry as moderator, POLITICO reporter and defense editor Bryan Bender, investigative journalist and TAC contributor Gareth Porter, Mandy Smithburger, director of the Project on Government Oversight, and Caroline Dorminey, a defense policy analyst at the Cato Institute. You can watch a video of the first panel here:

The second panel debated the role of cronyism in the technology industry and featured TAC executive editor Lewis McCrary as moderator, writer and Open Markets Institute fellow Matt Stoller, Washington Examiner commentary editor

Tim Carney, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance Stacy Mitchell, and Information Technology and Innovation Foundation founder and president Robert D. Atkinson. You can watch a video of the second panel here:

For more information or to subscribe to The American Conservative, please contact John Burtka, at… jburtka@theamericanconservative.com

Wednesday
Apr182018

Liberal Democrats rally around McCann's candidacy

After losing the coveted "Column One" position in Bergen County and filing a campaign receipts and expenditures report with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) in April that showed his campaign was deep in debt and not raising enough money to sustain itself, candidate John McCann apparently sent out an SOS to his friends and colleagues.  They responded in a big way.

A former Democrat candidate for Mayor of Bogota (Bergen County) stepped forward to accuse McCann's opponent of saying some pithy things about him a decade or so ago. McCann's campaign neglected to fully vet this Democrat (who they, oddly enough, describe as a "Christian conservative"), who recently attacked the policies of President Donald Trump and the Republican Party.   

This too is odd, coming from the McCann camp, which claims to be pro-Trump even as it puts forward "spokespersons" who are decidedly anti-Trump.  We get "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" thing, but McCann can only take this so far. 

Shambling forward came the "Ghost of losing the Legislature past" -- that impresario of the brylcreem set -- Paulie "the hand" DiGaetano. He reached out to the "mastermind" behind the Bridgegate scandal with the story about how McCann's opponent had said mean things about the guy who ran for Mayor as a Democrat. Mind you, this is the same DiGaetano who Senator Kevin O'Toole (R-Bergen, Passaic, Essex, Morris) claimed had threatened him.  It was widely reported on.  

O'Toole claims former assemblyman DiGaetano once threatened his life

https://www.politico.com/states/.../otoole-digaetano-once-threatened-my-life-102642

Jun 9, 2016 - Paul DiGaetano, a once powerful Republican assemblyman and former gubernatorial candidate, is on the cusp of returning to an active role in New Jersey politics for the first time in a decade.

O'Toole Claims DiGaetano Threatened His Life | Observer

observer.com/2016/06/otoole-claims-digaetano-threatened-his-life/

Jun 9, 2016 - Soon-to-retire state Senator Kevin O'Toole(R-40) has made claims that former Assemblyman and gubernatorial candidate PaulDiGaetano threatenedhis life during a one-on-one conversation the two men had over ten years ago as DiGaetanowas mounting his gubernatorial run. O'Toolespoke with ...

'I'll f---ing kill you!' Senator's chilling account of closed-door N.J. ...

www.nj.com/.../ill_f_-_-_-_ing_kill_you_senators_chilling_account_of_closed-door_...

Jun 10, 2016 - A sitting state senator says a candidate for governor demanded his endorsement, and threatenedto kill him if he refused. ... all the key parties. O'Toole(R-Essex) says the threatwas made in 2005 by Paul DiGaetano, then a leading Republican assemblyman dreaming about a long-shot bid for governor.

DiGaetano was in the middle of a campaign to be Bergen County GOP Chairman, so his opponent seized upon this to demand that he withdraw from the race: 

After O'Toole Threat Claims, Yudin Wants DiGaetano to Leave BCRO ...

observer.com/.../after-otoole-threat-claims-yudin-wants-digaetano-to-leave-bcro-race/

Jun 9, 2016 - Current Bergen County Republican Organization (BCRO) Chairman Bob Yudin is calling for his competitor, former Assemblyman Paul DiGaetano, to step out of the race for the position in the county organization. Yudin's call comes after allegations that DiGaetanoonce threatenedthe life of LD40 state ...

 Of course, DiGaetano disputed Senator O'Toole's claims and even threatened to sue him.

Bergen GOP chairman sues O'Toole over death-threat claims - Politico

https://www.politico.com/.../bergen-gop-chairman-sues-otoole-over-death-threat-clai...

Jun 15, 2017 - Republican Sen. Kevin O'Tooleclaimed DiGaetano, now the GOP chairman in Bergen County, delivered a “threatof great bodily harm” during a one-on-one conversation more than a decade ago.

We haven't heard any news about the lawsuit, but it appears as though Paulie "D" learned a new trick, because he is pulling the same thing on McCann's opponent that was pulled on him.  Now it is DiGaetano who is making phone calls on behalf of McCann, urging that their opponent be made to drop out of the race for the Republican nomination for Congress in the 5th District.  

You couldn't make this silly shit up.  As a county chairman DiGaetano has been a disaster.  Now he is calling GOP leaders asking them to join him in demanding someone drop out for being accused of saying actually far less than what he was accused of saying -- only the guy DiGaetano wants to drop out was accused by a Democrat and DiGaetano was accused by a Republican.  

"Stumbling John" McCann and his followers are real pieces of work.  

Tuesday
Apr102018

Did McCann pay for an endorsement? Aide says, "yes". 

John McCann's campaign did themselves a mischief again.  

This time by shopping around a story to the Washington Examiner about McCann's recent fundraiser with Sebastian Gorka, a former foreign policy advisor at the White House who was fired by the Trump administration after a few months on the job.  The Examiner story leads with the following headline:  

"Sebastian Gorka wades into New Jersey primary for another $5,000." 

The article ends with:

"Before supporting McCann in New Jersey, (Gorka) looked west, endorsed Republican Danny Tarkanian in Nevada — then a candidate for Senate — and collected another $5,000 in “speaking fees.” Asked in February whether he sold his endorsement to Tarkanian, Gorka said it was an “honorarium” and added that an endorsement sale “would be illegal.”

When reached for comment for this story, Gorka answered: “Get a life you hack. You’re not a journalist so I have nothing to say to you and I’m blocking this email.”

Brutal stuff... which led to this morning's Politico story in which McCann claims to deny everything his campaign told the Examiner: 

MCCANCEL PAYMENT -  The Washington Examiner, a conservative publication,  reports  via an anonymous campaign aide that 5th District Congressional candidate John McCann paid former Trump adviser Rick Gorka, who endorsed him and raised money for him, $5,000. McCann denies this on Twitter. "This not true. FEC filings will show my campaign did not pay Gorka a penny. The statement by my aide is simply not true." I've been waiting for McCann's FEC report because Gorka has a history of being paid not for his endorsement but, ahem,  a "speaking fee."  Of course, McCann or Gorka could have headed off that Washington Examiner story that McCann says is false if either had answered my question about whether Gorka was being paid when I asked it two weeks ago.

The conduct of the McCann campaign has raised eyebrows before.  Some key consultants on the campaign have bragged to some very reputable people about what they were being paid by McCann -- and yet their names never appeared on the McCann campaign's disclosures to the Federal Election Commission (FEC).  Now we have this Gorka affair.

Well, they don't call him "Stumbling John" McCann for nothing.  Shambolic. 

Thursday
Mar292018

NJ Herald's attorney attends controversial event

Kevin Kelly, an attorney whose partner is the former Chairwoman of the Sussex County Democrat Committee, attended a private dinner and "planning session" with a national Democrat political consultant, candidate John McCann, and Sebastian Gorka -- a foreign policy advisor in the White House who was fired by the Trump administration.

In the picture above, all eyes appear to be on Kelly, who was deeply involved in the coup in Vernon Township -- as well as partnering with Democrat Dan Perez in a lawsuit against the Vernon GOP.  Kelly is the New Jersey Herald's attorney and a somewhat controversial figure in Sussex County. 

Sebastian Gorka, on the other hand, is a very controversial figure nationally (perhaps internationally).  So good job Herald! 

McCann slammed over ties to former Trump adviser Gorka - Politico

https://www.politico.com/.../mccann-slammed-over-ties-to-former-trump-adviser-gork... 

McCann slammed over ties to former Trump adviser Gorka. By MATT FRIEDMAN. 03/23/2018 05:01 AM EDT. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter. The former chairman of Bergen County's Republican Party is slamming a congressional candidate for raising money with Sebastian Gorka, a one-time adviser to President ... 

The former chairman of Bergen County‘s Republican Party is slamming a congressional candidate for raising money with Sebastian Gorka, a one-time adviser to President Donald Trump who wore a medal associated with a Hungarian group that collaborated with Nazi Germany. 

“It’s absolutely despicable. It shows that I have to assume that John McCann approves of this man,” said Bob Yudin, who chaired the Bergen County GOP from 2008 to 2016 and backs McCann rival Steve Lonegan for the GOP nomination in the 5th Congressional District. “This man seems to have sympathy toward fascists and Nazis, and this act of accepting support from him disqualifies John McCann in all ways and manners from being my congressman.”

Wow.  Looks like John McCann has pissed the bed again.


Friday
Mar232018

McCann dissing Jewish voters in CD05? What will NJGOP do?

Once again, "Stumbling John" McCann has pissed down his leg.  A liberal both by habit and instinct, McCann couldn't help but go overboard when trying to "improve" his conservative credentials.  So McCann brought in a controversial figure who has been linked in the media with some rather unsavory folks of the "blood and soil" variety.

This is what so-called GOP "moderates" do, like last year when they trashed a Sikh in race in Southern New Jersey.  Instead of winning on ideas -- and ideas are cross-cultural and colorblind -- they go with personalities, trying to turn a candidate into a celebrity, and when that fails, they go straight to what they think their party's base is really all about. And it isn't, but they don't know that.

Here is what was reported this morning in Politico, by Matt Freidman:

The former chairman of Bergen County‘s Republican Party is slamming a congressional candidate for raising money with Sebastian Gorka, a one-time adviser to President Donald Trump who wore a medal associated with a Hungarian group that collaborated with Nazi Germany.

“It’s absolutely despicable. It shows that I have to assume that John McCann approves of this man,” said Bob Yudin, who chaired the Bergen County GOP from 2008 to 2016 and backs McCann rival Steve Lonegan for the GOP nomination in the 5th Congressional District. “This man seems to have sympathy toward fascists and Nazis, and this act of accepting support from him disqualifies John McCann in all ways and manners from being my congressman.”

...The 5th District has approximately 67,000 Jewish residents, or just over 9 percent of its population, according to the Jewish Data Bank. That’s the second-largest Jewish population of New Jersey’s 12 congressional districts.

You can read the full column here:  https://www.politico.com/states/new-jersey/story/2018/03/23/mccann-slammed-over-ties-to-former-trump-adviser-gorka-325596

Gorka has been accused of selling his endorsement to candidates looking for readymade "Trump" cred.  The Washington Examiner reported (February 22, 2018):

Sebastian Gorka doesn’t want to talk about his special friendship with Danny Tarkanian, the insurgent Republican challenging incumbent Sen. Dean Heller in the Nevada GOP primary.

Asked at CPAC whether he sold Tarkanian his endorsement, the former White House strategist bristles. “No, because that would be illegal,” Gorka tells me in his English accent, taking care to emphasize each word. “I was given an honorarium.”

As the Washington Examiner first reported, the timeline of payments and speeches and endorsements is as follows: Gorka endorsed Tarkanian on stage in Nevada on Dec. 20. Disclosures filed with the Federal Electoral Commission show that the candidate paid the speaker $5,000 the day before.

The campaign later confirmed the payment and claimed it’s not unusual for politicians to pay speaking fees to their endorsers. But a search through FEC records shows the opposite. In the last three election cycles, only two candidates ever made such payments.

Asked if it is normal for him to get paid for speaking gigs with politicians, Gorka guffaws: “Me getting speaking fees? Every week, yes.”

You can read the full column here: 

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/sebastian-gorka-denies-selling-danny-tarkanian-his-endorsement-for-5-000

McCann's event with Sabastian Gorka is March 28th.

The NJGOP is trying to expand its base along the lines of demographics.  We don't know what demographic group they are shooting for with someone like Gorka, but we advise them to take the path of ideas.  Ideas are open to everyone.